Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! Er, it's.....a lizard?
Mr. Gex and Agent Xtra had worked together for a jolly long time, solving international mysteries and putting away some very bad chaps. But it all came to a untimely end when Agent Xtra was mysteriously kidnapped.
Now, Mr. Gex has dedicated himself to rescuing his lost partner. Without her, I fear HE will be lost.
Agent Xtra: Gex! Gex!
Gex: Agent Xtra, you poor kidnapped minx.
Agent Xtra: Hey tiger, guess where I am. Trapped in the media dimension. Rez is back and he's kidnapped me to get to you. He's attacking your secret island cave!
Gex: Bummer. Speaking of secrets, you wanna see my...
Agent Xtra: Gex! Quit clowning around and get me out of here. This place is giving me the creeps.
Not too bad a start; sounds like a decent, if somewhat overused, story hook. Will Gex rescue his partner against overwhelming odds? Villains thwarting his efforts at every turn...Tricky puzzles barring his way... Silly situations to distract him...
Well, that's what we're hoping for and Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko provides a lot of it. Like the last Gex game, Gex 3 is a third-person action/platform game. While it maintains the series' tongue-in-cheek attitude, it's just a bit too dull to hold your interest in the long run.
You play as Gex, master of disguise, secret agent extrordinaire. Your goal: explore the various links into the media dimension (otherwise known as television sets) in an effort to discover where your partner is being held captive (As players, we all know that it HAS to be the very last one, right?).
Each individual area represents a different genre of movie. There are 3 basic goals which you can choose from in each section. Choosing one will give you a brief movie which outlines what you need to do to achieve your that goal and receive a TV remote. It doesn't much matter which you pick. Completing any goal will allow you to exit the level (even if you have previously completed that goal).
The first area, The Pole, is a fairly good example of the rest of the game. The goals? Create 5 Ice Sculptures, whack 5 Snowboarding Elves, and defeat Evil Santa. You can also get a remote for tracking down all 100 fly coins in an area.
The basic rule for every level is 'if it moves, whack it!' Most creatures (and a few fairly animate objects) will vanish and give you one or more fly coins if you nail them with your tail a few times. You'll also probably get an interesting sound effect or phrase. Alfred, your turtle butler, will also show up but only talks to you if you belt him one. Obviously a closet masochist.
The sound in this game is fairly decent throughout, and there are LOTS of sampled voices. The elves are sarcastic ("Hey, I'm snowboarding here!") and mocking ("You better run!"). Evil Santa is even in character, "You're on my List!" However, you'll hear the same few phrases so many times in a given level that you'll probably feel totally justified in whacking the elves and eventually get tired of forcing the penguins to make distressed chicken sounds.
Still, each area has its own individual set of sounds. And some of those areas are really interesting. There's a murder mystery, an Egyptian pyramid, a war film, anime, fairy tales, legends, and a number of others. I really enjoyed the level of silliness on the superhero level.
Unfortunately, Gex 3 suffers from the same camera tracking that plague most games of the genre. It can get frustrating just trying to jump from Point A to Point B. In addition, the plot is disjointed. It's all just strung together bits of wackiness.
But while I'm a big fan of wacky, there's just no spark. There's nothing in this game that really catches you and makes you want to keep playing. There are certainly some funny moments, but this is a rental, not a purchase. Looks like Gex should stay undercover.